I have been 100 percent single… ALONE, whatever you want to call it, going on now almost 7 long years. I would have never thought of myself as being one who would go this long without finding someone to deeply admire or attempt to love. I tried for years in America with no luck and assumed for sure luck would be on my side once living in Australia.
Between the two countries, I have been on well over a hundred of dates, with more than a hundred men during this time period, and only two percent of those men ever even sparked my interest. Furthermore, even fewer ever led to a second date before I said to myself, “EHHHHHH .UMM. NO”, and kept on trucking.
I AM proactive with my love life. I approach guys when out, I Tinder, I do Match, I get set up. I want love, I want a best friend, I want to enjoy a man on an emotional and physical level, of course. My intentions ARE all there!!
Guys ARE interested in me, guys DO like me, I AM wanted by many….
So then what the hell is the problem???
What is so terribly wrong with me that I am unable to develop interest, feelings, or even a bit of intrigue about someone of the opposite sex for more than 56 seconds?
How can I have such a TAKE-CHARGE approach to finding love, but subconsciously never actually give any guy a chance to ever make it happen?
The Story of the Pistachio
One day, I was sitting at my dining room table and texting back some guy I had no interest in, go figure. As I sat there, simultaneously deleting guys messages one by one from online sites, I decided to grab a handful of pistachios from the jar on the centerpiece right in front of me. While ignoring other texts from the regular hopefuls, I began cracking open the pistachio shells and enjoying each delicious treat. Some were almost completely open, with the pistachio just barely staying inside the shell. Others were a bit more closed, but just needed a little tug or two to get open. And then there were pistachios that were almost completely shut, looking really annoying to open, but definitely sized up still doable.
A few minutes went by and I was now nearing the bottom of the jar. I noticed that all the easy to get pistachios were no longer there, and the only ones with closed shells were left. Ugh, NOT the Closed Shelled! These are the ones everyone throws back in the jar because they are impossible to open. The ones where if you want to get inside that shell, you will have to risk breaking a tooth or slicing your finger open to even touch that pistachio. THOSE ones that are the inconceivable challenge with shells so tightly closed, they ultimately become unattainable.
Then it dawned on me…
I AM THAT PISTACHIO
WAIT, what!? When did this happen!? How did this happen!?
Yeaaah… that ALL HAPPENED
I can remember being 19 years old and falling in love for the first time. The guy really wasn’t anything special (sorry dude, you just weren’t) but a friend had set me up and within days I was head over heels in love. I was 100 percent open and available for love. There were no requirements of the guy or expectations from him. I was not thinking about our life together 10 years from then. It was just me.. in love..and letting it all in.
I was that pistachio you find without a shell just there to indulge, with no rough edges to get through, or shells to break…. just there with an open heart, and delightful.
This boy ended up cheating on me, breaking my heart… and I remember feeling a pain in my chest that I never knew could even exist. Though we all recover and probably never think about, your first heartbreak is something you never forget. You might not even remember that pricks name by now, but I bet you can still remember how he made you feel. That emotion is embedded into your memory till the end of time, and without even realizing it ever even happened…. you now have a shell.
I have fallen in love 4 times since then, and obviously with each one comes another heartbreak. Closing my shell millimeter after millimeter after each one.
Becoming at one time or another every type of pistachio I touched within the jar.
By the time I was ready for my last relationship, my shell was already 3/4 closed. I was still relatively obtainable, but some time and effort was needed before I would let my walls down. And finally….I did. After a few month’s time, the shell was gone and I allowed myself to fall so deeply and far in love it was like I was 19 again. But there was a problem.. I wasn’t 19, I was 27. I now had cares in the world, I now had to think about the future. At that moment when you realize you are madly in love with someone yet in a relationship that is set up to fail, all you begin to see is an expiration date in his eyes and your heart shattering across the floor.
I was now that shell-less pistachio that I had dropped on the ground moments earlier.. that will get crushed into pieces the moment I stand up.
That introspection and that break-up, was by far one of the most painful experiences I have ever had. Long, drawn-out, and quite ugly, it made my life unbearable to live for months. I made a promise to myself during that time, that I would never put myself in the same situation again. I would never wear my heart on my sleeve while setting myself up for failure at the same time.
I would never let love hurt me that hard again.
And at that moment, it was as of my brain connected with my heart, and I have been completely rewired ever since…
I became a brand new pistachio.
But with a shell that was protectively shut.
Now almost 7 years later, the pain of all my past relationships are all but memories, as I feel like I have forgotten what heartbreak and love even feels like. Within all this time, I have become the strongest, whole, most delicious pistachio I think I have ever been, but ironically covered with the most resistant shell I have ever encountered. Without even realizing, I had become that closed shelled pistachio that many desire to open, but never can.
It is amazing how well defense mechanisms can work when you need them to, but apparently do not know when to turn off when that’s no longer the case. This is where the majority of my extreme pickiness, my unrealistic standards and my quick response to always say “next” come into play.
America or Australia, it really really doesn’t matter where I live. I know, that if I keep going at this rate, no one will ever be able to break open my shell and enjoy all this pistachio has to offer.
But now that I know this, how do I fix it?
Well, I pride myself in having high standards, as everyone should, but there is a fine line between having standards and just being flat out ridiculous. It is now time to find a balance between upholding the justifiable standards and letting go of everything else.
What once was something I just considered a simple snack, the pistachio is now a strange symbol of who I was and who I have come to be when it comes to love. I decided to share this because I don’t think I am the only person who works this way, I am not the only annoyingly closed pistachio. I think many people build walls over the years after each relationship whether they realize it or not, then struggle to wonder why they are alone and why they think everyone they meet is an idiot. It is hard to remember the fact that nobody is perfect when perfect is the only thing we are unrealistically looking for. It is so effortless just to keep saying,”Oh that person talked funny” “That person had a weird thing with his hair” “That person didn’t text me back right away”. It is just so easy to blame everybody we meet for the reason we are alone, when the real answer lies within the walls we have confined ourselves in.
How are we ever going to see who a person really is with walls SO HIGH, that 99 percent of our judgment is blurred?
It’s time for all of us closed shelled people to begin letting others in a little bit more, open our shell. Not become an “easy to open” pistachio. No no, no. I am sure being easy is frowned upon even in the nut world.
But instead, adjust our shells just a smidge more open..
Lower our walls just an inch down..
Allowing for the pistachio.. and the girl, to once again, become attainable
P.S I hope you never look at a pistachio the same ever again 🙂
You are welcome.
<3 Hot Mess
Originally posted Feb of 2014 and revamped for 2019
.Copyright © 2019 Hot Mess Goes To OZ